Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TED Tuesday: Tony Porter's A Call To Men

If you are someone who doesn't understand what feminism is or why anyone would ever claim to be a feminist, this TED Tuesday is for you. This TED video, from the perspective of a man and father, changed how I approach the issue, especially now as a mother.

During pregnancy, I often wondered how mothering would fit into my feminist viewpoint. Or how feminism would fit into my mothering viewpoint. I had become a feminist breeder and was curious about what kind of impact this would have on how I felt about certain issues.

I knew just how to handle myself if we had a girl. All the things I would say, the opportunities I would offer her.

But oh, no. We had a boy. A beautiful boy, but in regards to my feminism... seriously outside my realm of experience. It might seem strange, but amongst all the soul-searching questions I asked myself, one that appears and re-appears often is - "How will I raise my boy to be a respectful feminist?"

To be honest, simply avoiding gender stereotypes has been hard enough. And then to add this notion of raising a respectful young person who grows up to be conscientious and respectful to all genders, while remaining knowledgeable about hurtful preconceived ideas... Well, it will be a journey we will explore together to say the least.

Tony Porter's A Call to Men TED speech came at me out of left field. As he tells powerful and moving stories from his own life, he is honest and vulnerable - he allows himself to say what I have rarely heard men say before: Don't "act like a man." The cliche to "act like a man" alone is so telling about our social climate where young boys are told that if they don't demonstrate power and control (especially over women), then they aren't really a man - and if they aren't a man, they are worthless. As worthless as what?  A woman?

Enjoy this video, and let me know what you think.


Friday, January 21, 2011

i nursed you in the rainbow room

I nursed you in the rainbow room.

that night i nursed you in the rainbow room 
with red and orange walls
blue sheets and rolling green hills of 
blanket to cover us in warmth

and i was amazed that you were unfazed 
that you could even move a finger
let alone linger and move the love inside 
me just to nourish yourself

all the people had come in swarms to 
welcome you and lift you in their arms
and say oh he is so sleepy or oh he is 
just      too      sweet

or oh how can he be so big and yet oh 
how can he be so    small
sitting here in my embrace, nestling his 
face into my neck, into my heart.

all the people left and i breathed a real breath 
for the first time
only to hear your voice calling to me, 
calling to me, calling me for love
did you know I know everything 
about you now and live to teach you
how to become more than I'll ever be 
be able to wonder about?

and we lay together in the rainbow room, 
on the yellow sheet
rocked in the purple chair and I knew
it was too much but laundry day happens
and things need to adjust.

And I say to myself; I made that. I am making that.
I look forward to seeing how you will 
make yourself.

©  Farren Square 2010